The youngster was targeted by Manchester United and Manchester City last summer, but the Hammers’ £70 million asking price drove them and other suitors away.
Rice has continued to impress, and following another great individual campaign, his stocks have risen and an insider has told C&H Chelsea will only have a chance of landing him if they part with £80 million.
The 21-year-old was with the Blues academy until he was released at 14, and while he has since made a name for himself at West Ham, becoming an England international in the process, a return to Stamford Bridge can’t be ruled out.
According to the insider, there is no way West Ham would be tempted by an offer of £40 or £50 million, and the reality is that the club don’t want to sell him at all and are confident they won’t have to.
It remains to be seen if the Hammers can hold on to Rice for much longer, though, as the availability of Champions League football and contesting for major honours at Chelsea is definitely more appealing than being in a relegation battle.